Boy, was Jesus blunt.
“Nobody,” he said, “can come to me unless the Father who sent me drags him.
“And I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:44).
You mean, I can’t saunter up to Jesus on my own? The only people who end up relying on Jesus as their Savior from death and hell are people God the Father pulls toward Jesus, against their natural inclination?
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There’s more to unpack: Jesus is unlike any other man. The Father sent him.
That means, Jesus came from somewhere else. The rest of us didn’t come from somewhere else. We started out inside our mothers.
Jesus came from heaven, though. Jesus was always God, and miraculously he became man.
To die for us on a Roman cross, under his Father’s judgment, in our place.
More: He came to rise again. To reign forever at the Father’s right. To raise up on the last day all who trust in his blood instead of their own goodness, for eternal life with him.
“The last day”? Wait …
Won’t the world go on forever? No.
There will be a final day, a judgment day? Yes.
How do I escape what I deserve, for all the ways I have disobeyed and disappointed my Maker?
Here is the wildest part of all. We don’t have to do anything.
That is, the Father drags rebels to his Son all on his own, by grace alone. He doesn’t say, “Shape up first.”
Instead, he says:
n“Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.
“Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.
“Give ear and come to me; hear me, that your soul may live” (Isaiah 55:1–3).
n God’s invitation echoes to the Bible’s end, where Jesus’ aged apostle John sees the river of the water of life, sparkling bright as crystal.
In John’s vision that river flows from the throne of God and of Jesus, the slaughtered-but-newly-living Lamb.
So John beckons:
“Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life” (Revelation 22:17).
Don’t wait. Come!
Rev. Daniel A. Witte, pastor of Risen Savior Lutheran Church, can be reached at 747-5564. For more information, see www.rsavior.com.